DIARY OF A TRIP TO FLORIDA

 

MSS O-193 Box 153

Florida State University Strozier Library Special Collections

1855-56 New York  Monument Manufacturer

Transcribed by Andrew Waber

 

Notes By the Way

 

* Note: This diary has no breaks in it between daily entries. The transcriber separates daily entries to aid in reading.

 

[p. 1] Tuesday Nov. 6th Left home and took the Barge for New York.

 

Wednesday “ 7 “ Arrived at N.Y. at 6 in the morning. Took passage in steamer Augusta and started from N.Y. at precisely 4 Oclock [sic] P.M. was taken sick at supper table went into my berth and vomited, staid in berth all night.

 

Thursday Nov. 8th was able to go on deck & eat… At night had a very hard [wind] blew off Cape Hatteras the vessels guards being often underwater.

 

Friday Nov 9th The wind blew steadily all day causing the vessel to roll awfully. Several porpoises followed the vessel keeping up quite a chase. Had a squall of rain about sunset.

 

Saturday Nov 10th Arrived in the Savannah River at 4 Oclock [sic] in the morning saw several rice fields along the River. Arrived at the wharf at 7 Oclock took stage for the hotel. Arrived at the Pulaski House secured a room and ate my breakfast. Took a walk after dinner through the town. Savannah is laid out in squares every 2nd block being open and in the form of a park.

 

Sunday Nov 11th Was awakened in the morning by the cry of fire, got up and found that the building adjoining the hotel was on fire. Packed my trunk and proceeded with it down stairs in the manner of a regular porter. Nothing more of importance occurred to day but the extinguishing of the fire which was done by the assistance of the fire company.

 

Monday Nov. 12th Attended to banking business and took a walk, viewed the town and surrounding country. Also the cotton presses at the wharf.

 

Tuesday Nov. 13th Took passage on the steamboat Seminole for Jacksonville took the inland route ran aground several times but finally succeeded into deep [p. 2] water. Stopped at Darien [Georgia] at about dark.

 

Wednesday Nov. 14th Arrived at St. Marys [Georgia] at about daylight and proceeded on our way and stopped at Fernandina Port Mahlon [?] and then proceeded on the sea to the mouth of the St. Johns River. The Ocean being verry [sic] rough had to go to bed to prevent being sea sick. Arrived at Jacksonville at half past twelve. Took a foot stage and proceeded to the Buffington House. Accomodations being poor and board high [I] concluded not to stay.

 

Thursday Nov. 15th Had our baggage removed to the Judson House, to which place we repaired one took rooms. The weather was very clear and pure the thermometer standing at 70.

 

Friday Nov. 16th Wrote letters home and went out in the grave yards to look after the marble business also went west into the country about two miles on the plank road and back.

 

Saturday Nov. 17th Took a boat and went to Mrs. Baxters Plantation about 8 miles up river. Got my dinner and returned in the afternoon. Got back about night.

 

Sunday Nov. 18th Dressed and went to the Presbyterian church to meeting. The Revd. Mr. Sprout officiated and preached a very good sermon. In the afternoon the thermometer stood at 80, in the shade.

 

Monday Nov. 19th Raining all day consequently had to stay at the hotel

 

Tuesday Nov. 20th Rained all forenoon in the afternoon procured a boat and proceeded to the house of Mr. Howell returned to the village in the evening got caught in the rain. Mr. Mathews returned this evening from a visit to the plantation of Mr. Winters. Brought samples of [P. 3] cotton in a raw state.

 

Wednesday Nov. 21st Rainy in the morning but cleared up at noon the temperature being about 75 Fahrenheit. In the afternoon visited the plantation of Mr. Winter about 2 miles south and procured samples of cotton also some cotton seeds. Saw the cane growing in large quantities. Mr. Winter has a sugar mill also a cotton gin where he manufactures his cotton and sugar. Returned about 5 Oclock. While returning saw some wild ducks, passed with 2 rods [?] of one in a small boat.

 

Thursday Nov. 22nd This day was set apart by the Governour of the state of Florida as a day of public thanksgiving and praise and was observed accordingly by the citizens of Jacksonville who almost unanimously suspended business. There was meeting in the morning and afternoon in the several churches of the village. This afternoon at the time of writing this the thermometer stands at about 64 Fahrenheit, being the coldest weather we have experienced for a long time in this place and rendering it quite uncomfortable out of doors.

 

Friday Nov. 23rd The weather to day was very nice the river being very smooth and not a ripple to be seen. The temperatures being about 75. Mr. Mathews left this evening for his home in western New York Courtland Co.

 

Saturday Nov. 24th The air was remarkable today the temperature being about the same as yesterday. Procured a gun and went gunning in the woods. Saw no game and returned to the hotel about sunset.

 

[P. 4] Sunday Nov. 25th Attended church in the morning in the Presbyterian church. In the afternoon went to the Catholic Church and saw the main part of Catholic worship performed by the Priest and his coajouters[?]. The service was novel but non imposing and I quited the church quite disgusted with the performance.

 

Monday Nov. 26th This forenoon we had a squall of rain, but cleared up again about noon. In the afternoon the weather was very warm. In the evening the thermometer fell to 80 Fahrenheit making it quite uncomfortable. The St. Johns arrived this evening bringing a few passengers from up the river.

 

Tuesday Nov. 27th The weather was a little cloudy this morning. More [?} Gucan[?] & Dr. Brailsfore visited the plantation of Mr. Sable about 4 miles up the River and returned about 3 Oclock. Nothing more of importance occurred today. Non Exoit [?]

 

Wednesday Nov. 28th Rained nearly all day but cleared up in the afternoon very cold comparatively speaking. The thermometer falling to 50 rendering it quite uncomfortable away from the fire.

 

Thursday Nov. 29th The Dr. was confined to his bed nearly all day on account of a severe attack of diarear [sic] the previous night, but grew better in the afternoon. The weather was remarkably clear and nice all day with a slight breeze from the northwest, which was very refreshing for the numerous invalids collected at this place to regain that, which once lost, is mostly highly prized, the enjoyment of good health.

 

Friday Nov. 30th Nothing of much importance occurred to day. The weather was remarkably cold this morning the thermometer being about 45 above zero. The steamer Seminole which was to leave this morning at 3 Oclock to Savannah run aground on the southern bank of the River  at the time of starting on account of a thick fog which was prevailing at the time. The disaster moreoever was occasioned partly by the pilot who was at the time of starting under the influence of that terrible Monster which has wrought so much mischief viz. Alcohol. During the night by the assistance of two other steamboats she succeeded in getting in deep water and to proceed on her way.

 

Saturday December 1st Rained in torrents nearly all day rendering it almost an impossibility to get out of doors without being drenched. The weather in the meanwhile was extremely cold, the average temperature being about 50 which for this place, at this season of the year, is very remarkable, when we bear in mind, that the coldest weather here is about the last of January.

 

Sunday Dec. 2nd Rained nearly all day consequently was prevented from going to church and had to stay at the hotel.

 

Monday Dec. 3rd The morning being pleasant, concluded to go to Mr. Browns, 15 miles above Jacksonville so I purchased provision and equipments sufficient for a week’s cruise in the woods. One in the evening proceeded on board the steamer St. Johns which leaves at 3 in the morning [p. 6] and arrived at Yellow Bluff at 4 Oclock of Tuesday morning. Staid at the store at the bluff until sunrise when we hired a man to take us to the cabin got our breakfast & went out hunting. Game being scarce we returned to the cabin about sunset and cooked our supper. We made a bed of palmetto leaves, and our blankets which made us very comfortable. Nothing of much importance occurred during the remainder of the week. Returned to Jacksonville on Saturday.

 

Sunday Dec. 9th We had a very hard wind all the forenoon accompanied by a tremendous rain storm. This continued until 2 P.M. when it stopped raining and the wind lulled and for the rest of the day was comparatively quiet. We had religious service in the evening at the Judson House which was attended by nearly all the boarders.

 

Monday Dec. 10th Went this morning to visit the plantation of Mr. Ames about two miles out of town returned about noon & in the afternoon went to Mr. Haddocks to see about the marble business. Returned about sunset.

 

Tuesday Dec. 11th Nothing of importance occurred today.

 

Wednesday Dec. 12th Having concluded to go to Newnansville I took the steamer Seminole at two Oclock for Black Creek arrived at Pilatka [sic] about dark.

 

Thursday Dec. 13th Left Pilatka [sic] this morning about 8 Oclock and arrived at Midleburg [sic] on B. Creek at two Oclock having traveled one hundred and fifty miles to get to Midleburg [sic] which is in direct line to Jacksonville about twenty five miles.

 

[p. 7] Friday Dec 14th This morning I endeavored to get a conveyance to Newnansville but did not succeed the stages running but once a week and this being at the arrival of mails on Monday. In the afternoon went to Whitesville & received an order from Ozias Buddington for a marble headstone for his child. The thermometer stood at about 75 all day.

 

Saturday Dec. 15th The weather this day was remarkably fine the thermometer standing at about 80 Fahrenheit. In the afternoon went to see Geo. Braning but did not find him at home, returning stopped at Mr. Hawes’ also at Mrs. Dillons & Mrs. Fagans returned to the hotel about dusk. Mr. Meyer returned this evening from a fishing expedition to the Lake 4 miles north, with a fine parcel of fish. Florida can be justly styled, the lazy mans paradise, where the nightingale sings and the orange blooms or more properly speaking the land of flowers.

 

Sunday Dec. 16th The steamer Welaka arrived to day but brought no passengers. There being no preacher in the place we were prevented from attending divine service. The weather was remarkably fine the thermometer standing at about 80 all day.

 

Monday Dec. 17th This morning there was a heavy fog, but cleared up about noon. In the afternoon we had a fine shower of rain which lasted till nearly night. The steamer St. Johns arrived this afternoon at about 4 Oclock during the rain with two passengers for the Hotel. It was very warm all day, the thermometer ranging from 75 to 80 degrees.

 

[p. 8] Tuesday Dec. 18th Left Midleburg at 9 Oclock and arrived at Fort Karley[?], 27 miles at 5 P.M. Rather cool. Staid at Fort Karley [?] all night.

 

Wednesday Dec. 19th Left Fort Karley [?] at 8 A.M. and arrived at Newnansville at 11 Oclock a distance of 19 miles. The weather was rather cool the thermometer standing at 58, in the afternoon I visited Phillip and widow Eliza Dell. Returned to Newnansville about dark. Poor success. Prospect gloomy.

 

Thursday Dec. 20th Went to see Mr. Prevat Messrs. Scott. Brown  R… and Mr. E.M. Stewart ten miles off returned about 7 Oclock to the hotel. The weather was cool the thermometer standing at 55.

 

Friday Dec 21st Left Newnansville at sunrise and walked to Fort Karley [?] at 1 Oclock 19 miles on 5 hours and then went to wings [?] 3 miles further and stayed all night. Very warm all day.

 

Saturday Dec. 23rd [sic] Started and walked to Mr. Sanders 17 miles from wings arrived at 3 Oclock. It rained about one hour in the afternoon.

 

Sunday Dec. 23rd Arrived at Midleburg [sic] at 10 Oclock 7 miles. It was very warm to day the thermometer standing at about 80 all day.

 

Monday Dec. 24th Left Middleburg at 5 P.M. and arrived at Jacksonville at eleven in the evening. Weather remarkably clear.

 

Christmas. Dec. 25th We had a very heavy fog this morning but cleared up warm. The temperature about 75 to 80 all day which is the warmest Christmas weather I ever experienced.

 

[p. 9] Wednesday Dec. 26th The weather was remarkably cool the thermometer standing at about 50.

 

Thursday Dec. 27th 1855. We had a splendid regatta here to day. Four boats were entered for the prize in rowing & 3 in sailing. Quite an excitement prevails which drew together a large concourse of people. Everything however passed off very quietly. The thermometer stood about 60 all day.

 

Friday Dec. 28th Nothing of much importance occurred to day. Left the Judson House and engaged board at Mrs. Coyes. Thermometer at about 75 all day.

 

Saturday, Dec. 29th 1855 The weather was rather cloudy with a few squalls of rain Thermometer about 70 all day.

 

Sunday Dec. 30th 1855 Rained nearly all day consequently was prevented from going to church, the weather rather cool about 60 all day.

Monday Dec. 31st Rainy and foggy all day. Rather cool.

 

Tuesday January 1st 1856. Rainy all day. Temperature about 45 which was rather uncomfortable out of doors.

 

Wednesday Jany. 2nd Cloudy all day. Rather gloomy, especially for a person unaccustomed to the climate.

 

Thursday Jan. 3rd Rained fast until 9 Oclock when it cleared up partially and the sun shone warm. John Townsend who died on the night of the first was burried [sic] to day at ten Oclock. The exercise were conducted by Revd. Mr. Bours (Episcopal) in this house. Mr. Townsend was a native of western New York, about thirty five years of age. Callin [sic] in the evening. 50

 

[p. 10] Friday Jan. 4th 1855 [sic] Rained nearly all day which caused it to be very cold as the wind being north. Left Mrs. Coys & went to board at Crispo’s boarding house.

 

Saturday Jan. 5th The weather was very cold this morning the thermometer standing at about 30, misty, and rainy in the forenoon. Cleared up cold in the afternoon. Cold.

 

Sunday Jan. 6th This was the coldest morning I have seen in Florida. I saw ice 1/8 of an in. thick this morning. The weather was clear and cold with a light breeze from the north, with the temperature about 45 during most of the day. The steamer Sight arrived to day at 2 Oclock from Savannah. Her regular day will be on Saturday in place of the Welaka which takes the place of the Seminole on Wednesdays. Attended divine service in the Judson House and 7 Oclock by Revd. Mr. S…oull.

 

Monday Jan. 7th It cleared off this morning with a northerly wind, cool, but pleasant in the sun. Temperature about 45.

 

Tuesday Jany. 8th 1855 [sic] Nothing of importance occurred save the fishing expedition which I made this afternoon in company with Mrss. [Misters] Gardiner’s Brooks and King’s. We caught about 3 catfish about eighteen long.

 

Wednesday Jan 9th Nothing of importance occurred to day. Overcast with a little rain Thermometer about 70.

 

Thursday Jan. 10th It was quite cold and blustery to day. Thermometer at about 45.

 

Friday Jan. 11th 1856 Rained nearly all day consequently had to stay in doors. Temperature about 60 which is quite moderate for the season of the year in this place.

 

[p. 11] Saturday Jany. 12th 1856 During the preceding night we had a tremendous fall of rain but cleared up partially about sunrise. Mr. Stub… of this place & Mr. S.D. Tomlinson of Middleburg left with the Darlington this morning for St. Augustine at 10 Oclock. The weather continued fine all day. Temperature about 60 on an average.

 

Sunday Jany. 13th 1856 Clear and cold, saw ice in the morning, about a mile south from this place. Went to the Presbyterian church this morning but heard no sermon on account of the sickness of Revd. Mr. Sproull[?] the officiating pastor. The steamer St. Johns due here at noon did not arrive until about twelve Oclock at night. The delay was occasioned by the wind which blew in a gale from the south.

 

Monday Jan. 14th 1856 Clear in the morning cold & dreary. In the afternoon I removed my belongings to the Judson House. Temperature about 50

 

Tuesday Jan. 15th Clear and moderate weather. Mr. Thompson & Mr. Davis went out in a small boat and shot three ducks this morning. In the afternoon procured a boat and went across the river in company with the Dr. & Mr. Rice to see the orange grove on the farm of Col. Stone but did not succeed in finding the plantation.

 

Wednesday Jan 16th Nothing of importance occurred to day. Weather cool. Thermometer at about 50 all day. The mail steamers Carolina of Charlston [sic] and Welaka from Savanah arrived this forenoon.

 

Thursday Jan. 17th Nothing of much importance occurred today, in the evening I bid farewell to Jacksonville and proceeded on board the steamer Welaka for Savannah.

 

Friday Jan 18th 1856 Had a fine time for sailing and arrived at Darien at 8 Oclock in the evening.

 

[p. 12] Saturday Jan 19th Arrived at Savannah about 9 Oclock this morning and took board at Samuel Dribbles, St. James Square cor. Of Broad and Presidential Sts. Clear all day but rained in the evening temperature about 70.

 

Sunday Jan 20th Rained at intervals all day consequently was prevented from going to church. Temperature about 60

 

Monday Jan 21st Visited Mr. Lincoln & also the principle drug stores in Savannah. Returned to the boarding house towards evening. Very cold all day temperature about 45 all with a cold breeze from the north.

 

Tuesday Jan 22nd Very cold all day thermometer 40.

 

Wednesday Jan. 23 Went to the office of the Daily News and had an advertisement put in there [sic] paper, temperature about 50.

 

Thursday Jan 24th Went to see Mr. Lincoln and to take a general survey about town. Large fire at night. Temperature about 50.

 

Friday Jan 25th Went to the news office this afternoon returned about 3 Oclock. Temperatures about 60.

 

Saturday Jany. 26th Rained all day sent a letter home by the steamer this morning. Saturday rained all day. Ms. Gardiner and Mr. & Mrs. Bailey arrive by Welaka today.

 

Sunday Jan 27th 1856 Rained all day. Went to a fire at night.

 

Monday Jan. 28th Rather warmer to day, temperature about 60. Wrote to Dr. Merritt and procured homeopathic medicine for him of Dr. Schley…

 

Tuesday Jan 29th Nothing of importance to day temperature about 50.

 

[p. 13] Thursday Jan 31st The weather was very fine to day Temperature about 70. Went to the Pulaski house, saw Mr. Prock went with him to Mr. Ingersolls, and from thence to the wharf & say him [?] safely on board the steamer T.G. Height which left at ten Oclock for Pilatka [sic]. Sent a letter by Mr. Prock to Dr. Merritt, and also a paper the morning news.

 

Saturday Feb. 2nd 1856 Took the steamer Alabama at 3 Oclock p.m. for New York. Met the steamer Florida while going out of the Savannah River.

 

Sunday Feb. 3rd 1856 Was seasick all day consequently was compelled to keep to my berth. Course N.E. win N. vessel plunging awfully all day.

 

Monday Feb. 4th 1856 Course N. wind north west. Very rough had to stay in bed all day.

 

Tuesday Feb. 5th Course N.W. wind N.W. the wind subsided about noon and the ocean grew quite calm. Was enabled to eat dinner at the public table in the after saloon. Very cold.

 

Wednesday Feb. 6th Arrived at New York this morning at 9 Oclock this morning having been on seaboard 90 hours, and the most of the time very rough. The sight of land was very encouraging I can assure you.

Return to Clay Co., Fl. home page.

This page was created on March 29, 2007.